Improving Collaboration Between Emergency Physicians & Hospitalists

The number of hospitalized patients being co-managed by emergency physicians (EPs) and hospitalists is increasing throughout the United States, as primary care providers and medical subspecialists limit their inpatient duties. In fact, emergency medicine and hospital medicine are second only to primary care as the largest group of physicians in the country. “It’s not uncommon for patients to be admitted through the ED and discharged after several days, after being seen only by EPs and hospitalists,” says Charles V. Pollack Jr., MA, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, FAHA. “Both specialties are typically represented 24 hours a day in hospitals.” In many cases, EPs and hospitalists are often the only attending physicians after hours in the hospital. “They share a common practice space and govern decisions about the use of the most expensive care in medicine,” Dr. Pollack says. “However, the collaboration between EPs and hospitalists has traditionally been limited to bedside conversations when patients are admitted from the ED to hospital medicine services. This leaves hospitals vulnerable to missing opportunities to improve quality of care while also reducing costs of care.” Stop, Collaborate, & Listen With the growing importance of shared patient care between EPs and hospitalists, improved collaboration is essential and overdue. To further expand upon the need for better collaboration between EPs and hospitalists, Dr. Pollack co-authored a review on the topic and a call to action with Alpesh Amin, MD, MBA, MACP, SFHM, in issues of the Journal of Emergency Medicine and the American Journal of Medicine. Dr. Amin says this collaboration is important to enhancing care. “Better collaboration can facilitate communication, develop teamwork, improve efficiency, and encourage...